Sunday, November 29, 2009

Negative Space

Do you employ negative space in your artwork? I've always been fascinated with this from childhood looking at those pictures like the vase that turns into two people kissing. I've never been subjected to a formal Rorschach test but I'm sure they would find some interesting results about me!

Some of my favorite things to look at are filigree in style , or cut-work in fabric or ceramics, I have two beautiful plates of lacy edged open work, one even broke and normally I would have thrown it out but loved it so much I glued it back together even though it can't be used now.

One of my favorites is looking at ferns, especially the ones hanging in my front bay window in the morning when the sun shines through them. The negative space is colored like the sky and the sun lights up the fronds from behind and it is a beauty I can't explain.

My fascination resulted in this latest treasury Called Fantastic Negative Space of similarly related items. Take a look and comment and click if you'd like and come back and tell me what you think. I'd love to hear your opinion of negative space!

Oh, these are pictures I took right at sundown about a month ago at our local park. I loved how the willow tree branches were silhouetted against the lake and the darkening sky, one of my favorite trees! Come to think about it, my favorite plants are ones that have that negative space look. I love ferns and have many, also a 5 foot wide split leaf philodendron that is taking over one whole corner of my living room, spider plants, striped and solid, a palm tree, and a date palm I have been growing from a pit for the last 5 years. And some of my favorite botanicals to work with also have that same look , dill, anise, asparagus leaves, Queen Anne's lace, carrot tops, Dusty Miller.

I will be adding these new hand painted buttons of Anise seed heads, again that great lacy look, to my StudioARTBEAD shop today.

So are you attracted to lacy negative space type things?


Kato,Pardo, Where O Where Art thou?

Some of you may remember how last winter I ordered the new Pardo Clay which was only available through one US distributor, and all the trials and tribulations I had to go through to receive it. (Cool Clay things in the mail June 20,2009)

I was still so put off by the whole experience, yes I am sensitive that way, I don't like what some may call 'bad karma' attached to any purchase, either mine or someones from me, it just isn't good all around and can stifle creativity.

Anyway, the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I wasn't right when I wrote that post, that maybe I shouldn't even try it in case I fell in love and then had no other source to get it from. Then I read recently that Pardo was now being sold in stores, well one Craft Store chain in the U.S., Hobby Lobby.

That was good news and bad for me. I was very pleased to find out that there was no longer a monopoly on this new eco-friendly clay, BUT the problem was, I didn't have a Hobby Lobby in my whole state, nor the closest state to me! What's a clayer to do? So I sulked, especially since I'd heard of the great sales that HL had frequently on clay in general and not only that, but they also sold Kato clay~! Something I haven't been able to get my hands on and try either. I got burned on ebay bidding on a whole lot of all the colors, paid for it and the seller ran off with my money, ebay closed them down before I could file a claim so I lost all around. I was afraid to mail order clay again.

But somehow a couple weeks ago I was reading something and it mentioned HobbyLobby and I figured I would go look again to see where the closest one was again and maybe plan a trip. I couldn't believe my eyes when I found one only less than a 1/2 hour from my home! I checked, and double checked and thought it was a internet fluke, but headed there anyway.

When I got there I have to tell you I was surprised and delighted to see the sign with big letters in red, Hobby Lobby! I was even more overwhelmed when I went inside. Now I have a Michaels, an A.C. Moore and Joanns Craft superstore, all within one mile from each other and about 15 minutes from me. This is where I do all my craft shopping and am at their mercy.

Michaels has given me trouble over coupons and I'm not too happy with them, also the jewelry department is so dark you need a miners helmet to find anything!

A.C. Moore has raised their prices on clay to over $3 a bar and they have some very rude employees there so I haven't shopped there that much recently either. And JoAnn's well they have improved and I've been there more than the others lately, but none of them have anything like Hobby Lobby!

That place is wonderful! I ended up staying until 5 minutes to closing. One thing I can say I enjoyed immensely was the music. It was soothing, peaceful and shopping inducing. I even noticed that the customers ( and this was Sat night, and there were plenty) acted nicer, kids didn't scream as much, people were polite, it was amazing! The other stores I mentioned play music that makes me either have to put in earplugs just so I can think about what I want to purchase, or if I don't have any with me, I grab what I can remember and run out of the store, never really getting all I wanted to. I applaud them for understanding that if you aren't being shouted at or having loud thumping music beating down on you, you can actually be thoughtful, and creative and look at the merchandise and start to work on projects right there, in your mind, and look for the components to make that idea, and buy them from that store, every body wins!

I didn't get to see every department but each one I was in was well lit, comfortable to move around in and see everything, and sales on lots of stuff! There were many items I've never seen in any of the other three stores and I got some really cool new things. I also found the clearance section and got some things there too! Hubby was even happy about shopping with me, even found something in the coin collecting section he's been wanting!

I found the clay isle and their clay was on sale, even the Kato! So I had to buy one bar of each color ( $1.27 can you beat that!!!!!) and I also found the Pardo! I couldn't remember which colors I had so I only got a few, but they had both jars and the small plastic packs.

I was thrilled! I also picked up some new jewelry components I haven't seen in other shops, and some neat Vintag components too! I had to tell hubby to get me to the check out before I emptied our bank account!

I walked out happy and now I have all kinds of things to work with. I am hoping this week to finally get to the Pardo clay as well as to experiment with the Kato Clay as well. I've heard the new formulation is really hard to condition but I have a Cuisinart and a sturdy wooden rolling pin already for any resistance!

Oh, so when I got to the check out ( and the lady was very nice too, even at the end of I'm sure a very busy day), I asked how long they had been there. She told me September, so it is pretty new, last I looked online for one was back in the Spring, so I am happy I looked again and if you have had the same experience, look again, you never know!

Happy Claying!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kathleen Dustin Featured in the New January Issue of Art Jewelry

One of my favorite all time Polymer Clay Artists, Kathleen Dustin is a featured Artist in the upcoming edition of Art Jewelry Magazine, January 2010.

They are offering an exclusive bonus Gallery at their website, click here to go visit the many wonderful organic pieces this excellent artist has made.

It has been a dream of mine to take a class with this awesome artist, one I don't think will even come true but meanwhile I love to look at her artwork and wonder just how did she do that? Her use of texture and color is phenomenal and pulls you in to want to see deeper, closer, more and that closer look is always rewarded.

This is one of my favorites, the polymer and pearls.

Here is her website if you'd like to learn more about this great artist.

Make sure to get out to your local bookstore and pick up an issue if you don't already subscribe, it promises to be a great issue!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dadd's Beads

I have been cooking and baking like crazy all week. I have my turkey all roasted, the carcass cooked down, gravy made (will make the mashed potatoes fresh come dinner time), cornbread apple, sausage, raisin, nut, cranberry dressing ready to go into the oven with the yams, the macaroni, broccoli and cheese casserole, and the corn casserole. There is Apple Kuchen for B'fast and Turkey salad for sandwiches to munch on before dinner. And I can't forget the Pumpkin cheesecake with sugar cookie crust. Yum! I have to make everything from scratch so it takes me a few days, because of my Celiac Disease. But it will all be delicious! And I have a clean kitchen! :)

But after being in that kitchen for hours on end each day I had to get away from all that baking and go bake some clay! I have been pondering all month the ART BEAD SCENE's challenge art piece for this month, Dadd's The Fairy Fellers Master Stroke. There was so much going on in this painting at first it was too much for me. Then I decided to focus in on what I know and love best, the organic elements in the painting, mostly the botanicals. So I set out to pick out what jumped out at me, the foliage, the nuts, the flowers but also I picked up on some textures from the clothing, hats, and even a barely seen wall in the upper right side.

So now my beads are made and I spent about 4 happy hours after finishing up in the kitchen painting, antiquing and coloring this strange assortment of beads. They may seem odd but each one is taken directly from a component of the painting, look hard, can you find them all? ( you can click on each picture to enlarge to help you). :)

Now to make an attractive piece of jewelry with them! :) Wish me Bon Chance!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This is such a sad time of year for me anymore. I love the gathering of family and friends, but this holiday was always even more special for me because my only child was born that day. Since Thanksgiving isn't a particular day each year, but instead the last Thursday of the month, many a year it was also his Birthday. I always had an extra blessing to be Thankful for as we sat down to the holiday dinner.

The day before Thanksgiving of the year he was born we were invited to my BiL's for Dinner as I was way too big to cook. In fact I had two doctors that year because we moved a month before I was to deliver. They didn't agree on my due date so it could be any day from the 22 to the 26 (he split it with the 24th! ) :)

His first Birthday Party we celebrated on the Day he was born which was two days after Thanksgiving, we celebrated with turkey salad made with the leftover Turkey.:)

His second Birthday was three days before Thanksgiving so we had our big Celebration on Thanksgiving so all the scattered family could be there ( most lived 100 miles away). There he is early that morning, ( top picture) you can see the sun coming in through the dining room window ( not a stain on the wall but a stained glass sun catcher) , The Turkey was bigger than he was!

But he was taken from us a few years ago and now Thanksgiving only brings me heartache. I do still have things to be thankful for, but certainly not as important as the celebration of the birth of my only son.

I shall miss him once again this year at the table, and pray we meet again some day.

Here he is after a very long Day on his second Birthday, Turkey eaten, presents opened, cake wished upon, and sleeping peacefully on a fold out chair in the living room after-wards.

Sleep peacefully my beautiful boy, I am still so very thankful for you!

I wish you all a day with family and friends and time together to be thankful and count all your blessings, large and small!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Natural and Organic Consumers Focus on Health and Wellness Amidst Public Health Concerns

Mambo Sprouts Marketing Research Forecasts 2010 Organic and Green Buying Trends

Collingswood, NJ, November 16, 2009 — Health care costs and heightened public health concerns have consumers focused on staying well in 2010. That’s according to a recent MamboTracktm study by Mambo Sprouts Marketing, the leader in natural and organic product marketing and promotions, which surveyed the organic buying and wellness habits of 1,000 natural product consumers to get an outlook for the coming year.

Nine in ten (88%) consumers took additional steps recently to promote their family’s health and wellness. With the economic recovery in slow mode, consumers are going “back to basics” to bolster their health, with 7 in 10 or more taking vitamins (84%), eating the recommended fruits and veggies (73%), and choosing organic foods (68%).

These same consumers plan to increase their commitment to health and wellness behaviors including fitness and exercise (64%), getting enough sleep (63%) and eating fruits and veggies (61%). More than 1 in 2 reported adding more “raw” and “whole” foods into their diet (57%), eating organic foods (53%) and meditation and relaxation (52%) would be more important in 2010.

Three in four or more consumers were active in online health and wellness activities using printable online coupons and savings offers (80%) and seeking out health/wellness information online (76%). More than 1 in 2 subscribe to health/wellness E-Newsletters (59%) and belong to social network sites (i.e.,Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Care2) (56%). Consumers identified more health/wellness product coupons (93%) and a wider selection of health/wellness products (62%) as the retailer and natural product company strategies they would find most helpful.

Most (59%) expect to buy more organics in the coming year, albeit cost conscious consumers are seeking ways to make organics more affordable by shopping sales (53%) and using coupons (51%). However, when the choice comes down to buying local or buying organic, consumers are torn. One in three were not sure (28%) what they would choose. Four in ten would opt for local/non-organic (40%), while 1 in 3 would definitely choose organic (32%). Highlighting the importance of locally sourced food, consumers are shifting natural and organic dollars away from local gourmet markets (16%) and discount stores (15%) in favor of farmer’s markets (52%) and local food co-ops (43%).

Coupon usage is high among natural and organic consumers with virtually all (99%) using grocery coupons regularly (77%) or sometimes (18%). Seven in ten consumers indicated that grocery coupons influence their brand buying decisions and use coupons when planning their grocery list. Another 2 in 3 are paying more attention to grocery coupons than in the past and actively seek out grocery coupons online (i.e., search, google, yahoo).

Most (9 in 10) consumers are using a variety of coupon types ranging from in-store coupons (96%), coupons by mail (93%), online printable coupons (90%), to magazine coupons (90%). About 6 in 10 (59%) use coupons added to their store frequent shopper cards, but a slightly higher share (64%) were in interested in these retail shopper coupons. Only 1 in 10 (11%) presently use cell phone/mobile coupons, and fewer than 1 in 6 (17%) were interested in receiving these mobile technology coupons in the future.
Consumers rated produce (69%) as the category most important to purchase organic. Other organic purchasing priorities include milk (54%), meat and poultry (54%), children’s food (53%), cheese and eggs (50%). Respondents were least likely to identify beer and wine, (7%), desserts and snacks (21%) and pet products (23%) as very important to buy organic.

Notably, most survey respondents had already adopted basic “green” habits including recycling (82%), and using energy saving light bulbs (75%), environmentally friendly cleaning products (61%), and energy efficient appliances (52%). Apart from energy efficient light bulbs, those same tools ranked highest in green priority for 2010 along with eco-clothing and “green” restaurants.

ABOUT MAMBO SPROUTS: [] Mambo Sprouts Marketing is a full service health, natural and organic foods and products marketing and promotions company. Through their online, mail and in-store programs, Mambo Sprouts reaches over 2 million proven N&O shoppers quarterly. Mambo offers manufacturers and retailers a complete range of customized programs including: the industry’s first and only natural product co-op mailer featuring an optional custom solo mailing; Mambo Sprouts natural and organic product Messenger newsletter and coupon books distributed quarterly to 385,000 N&O consumers; offline and Web-based market research services; offline and online mail list development; Go Mambo!, Mambo Sprouts’ mobile promotions van that travels throughout target regions distributing product samples and coupons at major events and festivals; Web marketing including natural product instant e-coupons, sample offer promotions, and a monthly targeted health e-newsletter. Mambo Sprouts is based in Collingswood, New Jersey. For more information call (856) 833.1933 or visit

check out their site for great recipes and Organic Food coupons!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pre-Holiday Sale and Grand Opening still going on!

This weekend all four of my shops will be having a Pre-holidays sale. All are offering 15% off of everything in the shops ( not including shipping). Also I am concurrently running a Grand Opening Sale in my StudioARTBEAD shop so you can really save this weekend.

The Pre-holiday sale for me runs from Friday November 13 through the 15th.

My Grand opening sale for Studio ARTBEAD runs through the end of November. I hope you'll stop by my shops and think about doing some of your holiday shopping there.

Also some of my TeamT members from Etsy are also having special sales in their shops.

Here are those participating:

JenSan Candles wonderful candles, gift baskets and bath products. Vegan, Organic and soy are all part of their line!
10% store-wide discount to general public
15% discount to friends, family and team members

JennyNDesign - Beautiful handmade leather purses, clutches, briefcases and travel bags.
& Eightfold her other shop that offers upbeats leather accessories.
10% off everything. Can combine shipping between stores. Refund via Paypal after purchase.

The Nightjar featuring high quality affordable fine art, original paintings/prints, needle felted sculpture and hand crafted unique jewelry that includes pendants, pins, and one of a kind items
10% off all ornaments and original art. Refund via Paypal after purchase.

Mandag - Eclectic Jewelry, cards, pillows and unique artwork from Norway!
10% off everything. Refund via Paypal after purchase

TrendyKnitting - Beautiful knitted Shawls from Istanbul!
20% off All shawls

FiveForty Beautiful recycled Handwoven rugs and unique jewelry!
10% off everything in my shop before shipping, refund through paypal after checkout

SmallEarthVintage- Vintage clothing, shoes and more--from the glamorous 1940s and rockabilly 1950s, to the mod 1960s and bohemian 1970s!
20% off everything pre-shipping

JuicyGraphics Fresh Designs for Your Fine Crafts & Scrapbook Pages
1/2 price sale on all items.

NancyWallisDesigns Romantic, Whimsical, Fun & Flirty Handmade Jewellery
10% off everything in my shop not including shipping,refund through paypal after checkout

SarahJohnAfana Beautiful original paintings, prints and Photography!
10% off all notecards, prints and photographs, framed or unframed refunds via paypal after checkout

Schemata - Beautiful hand knit scarfs
10% off all scarfs

Vintage Confections - Artisan toffee caramel and chocolates!
$10 sale thru Monday Anniversary sale nothing over $10

CatherineReese - Beautiful, thoughtful organic themed pottery
10% off everything in shop

Ixela - Fabulous Fashion knits from Italy!
10% off everything pre-shipping, refund via Paypal after purchase

VintageAimee Beautiful vintage glass slide and stained glass items!
10% off everything in my shop before shipping. Refund through paypal after checkout.

PipingHotPapers - Notebooks, notes, cards, all kinds of cool paper stuff! Recycled items too!
10% off everything in my shop before shipping. Refund through paypal after checkout.

carvelcountrysoaps Natural Bath and Body Products
10% off everything not including shipping

Check them out! No lines, save on gas, do it in your PJ's!

Happy Hunting!

With cursor on ad scroll to see many examples of these great shops!


Friday, November 6, 2009

New Design, New beads in shop

I've been busy posting new beads to my shop all week but took a bit of time out to make this for this Humblebeads challenge. This is Day 1's assignment, a Horizontal focal bead made up of a chunky beads strung on a wire. I had a new idea for some beads and decided this would be a good new use of them, it is based on the ancient Chinese 'calculator' the abacus combined with a rotary lock mechanism but with only one letter per wheel. The letters go all the way around the beads thus making the edge the focal part of the bead.

I chose the word 'Beautiful' because that is what I think turquoise and copper are together, as would any woman be that would wear this. :)

I paired the turquoise antiqued beads with bronze glass beads and a vintage copper chain. I love the look together, wasn't sure about this but would like to explore this idea further, Thanks Heather for the challenge!

I also have a similarly colored herb bead that I
will be listing in my StudioARTBEAD shop shortly. The word 'Parsley' is written twice on the edge between the holes for stringing.

I have gotten over 80 beads and buttons listed this week! Phew! Please go and check them out, I have more to come over the weekend.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Grand Opening and Re-opening!

Some of you may have noticed that my shops have been closed this past month. I have many reasons for this and won't go into it right now but I am happy to announce that all three of my shops are reopened! All this week there will be new listings added and specials like free shipping so please take a visit.

Also my Bigger news is that I have opened a new shop on Etsy! This is strictly for Jewelry supplies, mainly for selling my hand made beads. Just Click here to visit! StudioARTBEAD

Grand Opening starts today with specials and new items being added throughout the day as well as the rest of this week! Don't forget to heart my shop so you can check back often!

Please stop by and check it out and let me know what you think. My banner is a temporary one till I get a bit more time to refine it but I am pretty happy with how my photos turned out on my windowsill on a very overcast day! and that is saying a lot , especially coming from a perfectionist INFJ!

Which speaking of, have you taken the test? Care to share? I'm still looking to met other INFJ's as well as similar MB types so please let me know!



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